Greenpeace Africa today helped bring together Senegalese fishermen, fish packers and sellers in the wake of the biggest ever fishing scandals to hit Senegal.
Emerging from a three-day workshop titled "Gearing towards a consultation platform for artisanal fishing actors in Senegal" which ended today the new structure named "Platform of the Artisanal Fishing Actors of Senegal (PAPAS)" brings artisanal fishermen, fish wholesalers and fish packers from a range of different Senegalese communities.
This workshop comes after recent revelations by Greenpeace that showed how government ministers and officials in the former government oversaw the legalized plunder of small pelagic resources. This report launched last month also revealed a loss of income of about 8 billion FCFA for Senegal.
According to Raoul Monsembula, Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Africa, "the fishermen have created a forum to help those most affected by the ongoing pillage of their ancestral fishing grounds by foreign trawler fleets, to ensure that nothing of the sort can be allowed to happen in future".
The forum is set to fight for artisanal fishing interests, providing a framework of action to ensure good governance in the sector and the sustainable management of the fishing species that still remain in West African waters.
"The PAPAS is way more than a simple structure. It will be part of a joint movement for change with the fundamental values of transparency, commitment and accountability", said Abdou Karim Sall, the coordinator of the ad hoc committee.
"The time of irresponsibility, trial and error is over. Now, we as artisanal fishing actors have opened our eyes", he added.
Greenpeace calls on Senegal's government to put in place conditions of sustainable management of the resources to guarantee the food security and livelihood of million individuals.